Hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) is the loss of periods due to stress on the body.
This stress can be due to mental stress, low body weight, under eating, over exercising and something I am seeing more frequently is- lack of carbs in the diet, even if you are eating enough calories.
Carbs are really important for luteninizing hormone which triggers ovulation. Under eating also disrupts LH.
Most of the clients who have HA who come to me are very fit, healthy, toned young women- usually with no other health complaints, bar losing their period. A lot of them stick to ‘clean eating’, whereby a small amount of oats or sweet potato at dinner on workout days, are the only form of carbs in the diet. .
So what are the treatments.?
Medically- from what I have seen in the clinic the pill seems to be the only current medical ‘treatment’ (the pill stops ovulation and gives a fake period, therefore is not a real treatment). If you have been offered something else I would love to hear about it. The one bonus on the contraceptive pill is that is will protect bone health.
No periods = no ovulation = no oestrogen production = poor calcium absorption = poor bone health if it is long term
Holistically- increase calories and complex carbohydrates. Reduce high intensity exercises- try slower pace workouts like yoga/Pilates. Look at putting on some body weight, if needed. Supplement wise I use an amazing herb called Chaste Berry and also Ashwaganda. Get in touch for more info on these.
Lastly, HA is often misdiagnosed as PCOS. In both conditions it’s common to see cysts on the ovaries, so an ultrasound should not be the only way to diagnose PCOS. A lot of clients I see get diagnosed with PCOS, only to be told at a later date that they don’t have it- this is why!
Always get bloods checked to be sure. There are very clear markers on a blood test that will show if it is HA . The main one being lutenizing hormone.
LH will be high in PCOS
LH will be low in HA
If you need a little more personalised advice on this, don’t be afraid to get in touch! ❤️